Am I surprised Trump took the United States off of the Paris Agreement? No. That sounds a tad pessimistic perhaps, but it’s true. When you have a leader who is short-sighted on the instant gratification of big money and business, the status of the environment as we know it isn’t that high on the list of priorities.
But this nonetheless fills me with rage. It should fill everyone with rage. We’re talking about a growing problem that affects every single living thing. And it’s not like we just recently discovered climate change. This “inconvenient truth” has been made clear for years. Yes, we have certainly made progress in our awareness and action taken to prevent further damage, but when the governmental administration is not even on board, how much can we truly do?
I say, we can still do everything we can. I definitely see this update as a huge annoyance in some people’s ignorance or concern for others, but we as the human race do not have to tolerate that attitude. I’m so glad to hear individual states and companies, and of course the countries still involved in the Paris Agreement, that will continue working until we make a significant change.
Because, in all honesty, most of the work required to fight climate change is on an individual basis, each making the choice to live more consciously, that effort building up to a collective effort that has some solid traction, an army of green supporting a crucial cause. I’d rather see grassroots (ha) efforts than large companies and entities being the leading contributors. Obviously they should also be on board, but what would a public statement and goal be without the people behind it all to make it happen?
Just like anything else, we are so much more than the select elite that lead us. We have the power to define ourselves as a society who is aware and proactive. Maybe it’s too late to use a word like “proactive,” but better late than never. We’ve already made great progress. Working in renewable energy industries is more profitable even than coal, so we really have no excuse.
My question to those who support Trump’s decision is this: Why? Why do you choose to selfishly hold on to outdated industries and material goods that are scientifically proven to cause damage to the environment? Do you realize the people most vulnerable to those effects, third-world countries who are helpless to the severe weather and flooding? There isn’t much time left that we can patch up the holes caused by human-driven climate change. You can only do so much damage control before everything comes crashing down.
This is a burden we have created and that we all must share. I refuse to make future generations try to clean up our mess, no matter what state it might be in. In each pivotal moment, we have a choice. Simple and complicated choices aplenty. The repercussions may not surface in the day or week, but by approving of an ignorance toward oversight and caution, Trump is fueling (ha) a possibly intamable beast.
So no, if this decision proves anything, it’s that we cannot stop talking about climate change. We cannot let the conversation go to the wayside. It’s always relevant, always pertinent in our daily lives, always a thought that should cross our minds as we carry on our merry ways. It’s nothing to dust under the couch and assume it’ll eventually just go away. But we cannot turn away from this uncomfortable, fragile state. We have to face it, head-on.
Where do we go from here, those of us who Trump and other supporters might call tree huggers, hippies, liars? We keep going like we usually do. Maybe I should be more hung up about Trump’s constant tweets and headlines about his every single move, but turns out, I’m lucky enough to live in a democratic country, where my and everyone’s voices matter if we’re willing to speak up. So many have already voiced concern, and for that, I applaud them. We must turn these words into action. We must show how truly beneficial green, conscious living can be. It’s not like making small changes throughout your day will disrupt your life. Heck, that must be a boost to your conscience for doing something that is helping others, whether that be people, animals or plants.
Maybe we’re not citizens under the Paris Agreement, but we’re citizens of the earth. That alone should be a key reason why climate change matters. Monetary wealth is temporary, but the environment as we know it is not. It’s time to look beyond our narrow perspective and see those in need. See the smog, the growing landfills, the natural habitats decaying, the people fleeing a homeland that may soon be underwater. Choosing more renewable options may not be the best decision for green in your pocket, but the success in the long run will see more green on our earth.
Take care, and keep the faith. -Allie